Gap Inc. plans to open a new 850,000 square foot state-of-the-art Customer Experience Center at the North Business Park in Longview, Texas. The $140 million project is expected to create 500 full-time jobs by the end of 2023 and grow to more than 1,000 full-time jobs in the city over the next five years.
By delivering inventory faster and more efficiently to customers across the country, the company said the investment will help meet the rising customer demand for online shopping and reach its future plans for digital growth. Construction will begin in April 2021 with plans to be fully operational by August 2022.
“As we look to deliver on our three-year strategy and double our online business, we needed to expand our fulfillment network to provide a great experience for our customers today and ensure we have the ability to grow in the future,” said Shawn Curran, COO, Gap Inc. “We are thrilled to join the Longview community and look forward to developing a facility that will provide employment opportunities and job training to work alongside cutting-edge technology.”
Longview Economic Development Corporation agreed to a forgivable promissory note for $11.42 million for the purchase/sale of 142 acres in the North Longview Business Park, with forgiveness based on completion of the investment and employment goals over five years. LEDCO will hold a first lien deed of trust on the property where Gap Inc. will locate. LEDCO also will pay to relocate certain water, sewer and gas lines that cross the property, at an estimated expense of $997,000.
Wayne Mansfield, president and CEO of LEDCO, said that while the length of time for the abatements is different from many projects, there are no projects of this magnitude in this area considering the sales tax revenue that will be generated. Those revenues are expected to pay back the community’s investment in the project within five years, he said, with a rate of return on investment of 29%.
The Longview campus will supplement six existing campuses in North America, including those in Fresno, California; Phoenix, Arizona; Groveport, Ohio; Gallatin, Tennessee; Fishkill, New York; and Brampton, Ontario. While Gap Inc. had plans in place to open a new facility beforehand, as a result of changing customer needs during the pandemic the timeline has been accelerated to create more capacity for online growth.